This appendix lists which packages (if any) from each category might be
included in the installation and gives my reasons for including or omitting
them. I made no attempt to install X so those categories are ignored.
Although this appendix refers specifically to the Slackware distribution
it can be used as a guide with any of the major distributions.
Most of the packages in this category are essential, even those that aren't
listed as required by the Slackware set-up program. Because of this, I've listed
those packages that I felt could reasonably be left out rather than all the
non-compulsory packages that I installed.
Packages considered for omission:
- kernels (ide, scsi etc.)
There's no need to install any of these,
you get a chance to select a kernel at the very end of the installation process.
This is only needed if you intend to run executables compiled
in the old a.out format. Omitting it saves a lot of space. Omitted.
Bash2 (simply called bash in the Slackware package list) is
required for the Slackware configuration scripts but there are a lot of scripts
that need bash1. I included it.
agetty is Slackware's default getty, this package contains
getty and uugetty as alternatives. Only include it if you need their extra
Personally, I find this very useful at the console (and the Aero's
trackball is very handy) but it's not essential. Included.
Not needed. Omitted.
No use here. Omitted.
Not needed with the setup described here - unless your old
laptop has some peculiarity that requires a DOS driver to initialise some of
its devices. Omitted.
You could argue that you can do your printing from whichever
desktop is nearest but I always find it useful to be have printing capabilities
on a laptop. Included.
Not a compulsory include but I want the laptop to do dial-up
connection. Very handy. Included.
Not needed on these old laptops. Omitted.
Not vital but it can be used to set limits that stop you from
overflowing the limited space available in these laptops. Included.
I recommend using ash as your login shell. Only include this
if you need it for scripts. Omitted.
You can leave this out and still be able to access UMSDOS
No use on these laptops. Omitted.
This can interfere with apmd but it does provide essential
aaa_base, bash, bash1, bin, bzip2, cpio, cxxlibs, devs, e2fsprog, elflibs,
elvis, etc, fileutils, find, floppy, fsmods, glibcso, gpm, grep, gzip, hdsetup,
infozip, kbd, ldso, less, lilo, man, modules, modutils, pcmcia, sh_utils, shadow,
sudo, sysklogd, sysvinit, tar, txtutils, util, zoneinfo
Combined size: 33.4
None of these packages are, strictly speaking, essential - although ash
is really required for sensible operation in 4mb. Leaving them all out could
save the vital space for you to squeeze in your favourite app. I selected a
minimal set of tools that I don't like to do without.
Packages considered for inclusion:
Not much point having printing if you can only print text
This is the shell for low-memory machines, only taking up 60k.
Use it as the default login shell unless you like waiting 10 seconds for the
command prompt to reappear each time. Included.
- editors (jed, joe jove vim)
elvis is the default Slackware editor
and a required part of the installation. If, like me, you are a vi fan then
that's all you need: installing vim would be wasteful duplication given the
space restrictions. If you can't stand vi and need a more DOS-style editor
then joe is small. Emacs fans with some self-discipline might consider jed
or jove rather than pigging out on the full-size beast. Omitted.
If you already have apsfilter you don't really need this.
Including the fonts this comes to about 7.5mb. One to
leave until after the core installation, then consider if you need it. Omitted.
Needed for the man pages. Included.
Not an essential butvery useful to the overenthusiastic touch-typist.
Slackware offers a lightweight compilation of mc but I'm happier
at the command prompt. Omitted.
Not necessary on what is not a multi-user machine but you may,like
me, find it handy to stop you from forgetfully wasting the little space you
Don't bother. If you do have an rpm that you would like to squeeze
in, use rpm2tgz on a desktop machine to turn it into a tgz package - then you
can use the standard Slackware installation tools. Omitted.
A useful little spreadsheet packed very small. Included.
Not essential but I find it useful here: it's a cramped environment
and an awkward reinstall if you mess things up - sudo helps create user profiles
with the power to do the things you need without carelessly wiping your disk.
Info documentation. Included.
Leave this out unless you're addicted to it or have scripts that
must use it. Omitted.
apsfilter,ash, diff, groff, ispell, manpages, quota, sc, sudo, texinfo
Combined size: 8.1 mb
You could fit C or C++ into this space but the glibc library package is
too big, so some pruning would be needed. Do the main installation first and
then try it.
There is room for Perl and Python.
I don't use Emacs and so saved myself some space. On the other hand, if
you are an Emacs fan then you probably use it for e-mail, news and coding so
you'll claim some of that space back by omitting other packages.
If you do want Emacs it might be an idea to leave this out while doing
the core installation. Once the laptop is up you can try fitting in what you
want/need at your leisure.
If you know it all you don't need these. I installed the lot.
howto, manyfaqs, mini
Combined size: 12.4 mb
You can just squeeze it in. If all you want to do is read the source, go
These packages were selected to provide core networking tools, dial-up
capability, e-mail, web and news.
dip, elm, fetchmail, mailx, lynx, netmods, netpipes, ppp, procmail, trn,
tcpip1, tcpip2, uucp, wget
Combined size: 15.1 mb
Another set that will barely squeeze in. I can't say how it would run in
the space available.
I'm addicted to several of these. If I really need that last 5mb they can
Combined size: 5.4 mb
In total the installed packages plus kernel took up about 75mb of disk
space of which 19.5mb was in the root partition and 55.5 in /usr. On the Aero
that left 39mb in /usr, 74mb on the T1910.